If MRS Associates is trying to collect a debt from you, here’s what you need to know. They are indeed a legitimate collection agency. However, as with any other debt collector, they are required to follow debt collection laws. Dealing with debt collectors during the credit repair process can be confusing, so the more you know about MRS — and your debt collection rights — the better.
About MRS Associates
MRS Associates is a debt collection agency that also goes by the name MRS BPO, LLC. It was founded in 1991 by brothers Saul Freedman and Jeff Freedman, and is based in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
Industries MRS Associates Serves
According to its website, MRS provides accounts receivables management to companies in the following industries:
- Financial services
- Parking, tolls, and fines
For MRS collections, the agency says it uses skip tracing, letters, “human interaction,” scoring, and credit reporting.
MRS Associates Accreditation
MRS BPO, LLC is a member of ACA International, a trade group that represents collection agencies. Its mission? Contributing “to the success of its members and the positive reputation of the credit and collection industry through education, advocacy, and services.”
ACA members take the Collector’s Pledge, which states:
- I believe every person has worth as an individual.
- I believe every person should be treated with dignity and respect.
- I will make it my personal responsibility to help consumers find ways to pay their just debts.
- I will be professional and ethical.
- I commit to honoring this pledge.
Beyond that, MRS has an A+ letter grade from the BBB. It also has 3.68 out of 5 stars based on four customer reviews (not to be confused with customer complaints; see below). Its BBB file was opened in 2006 and it has been accredited since June 2016.
The MRS LinkedIn page also states the following about its customer service:
“We’ve invested highly in our in-house MRS employee-training program which is six weeks in duration for new agents, and it emphasizes quick response times and an excellent customer experience through rapport-based customer service skills and compliance training.”
What to do when you hear from MRS collection agency
Before you pay any collection agency a dime, you should request validation of the debt. If they cannot provide the necessary verification, you are not legally obligated to pay it and, if it’s listed on your credit reports, it must be corrected or removed. Here is a sample debt validation letter to send to MRS Associates, which you should send via certified mail with a return receipt requested. Just be sure to do so within 30 days of receiving the initial communication from them. Until they provide the requested debt validation, they are prohibited from taking any other collection action against you.
Submit a credit dispute
If you see anything inaccurate about a debt that MRS says you owe, you have the right to dispute it. This applies to debts for which they have provided debt validation, as the information they are basing it on may be incorrect. Maybe the amount owed is wrong. Maybe you already paid it. Or maybe you never owed the debt in the first place. In any case, you can and should dispute it as inaccurate.
Though the MRS collection agency offers an online dispute option, we recommend you send your dispute via certified mail with a return receipt. Send your letter to:
MRS BPO, LLC
1930 Olney Avenue
Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08003
Be sure to include supporting documentation.
Disputing with the credit bureaus
If you haven’t already, check with Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion to see if inaccurate MRS collections are showing up on your credit reports. If so, dispute the listing directly with the credit bureaus, too. Here is a sample credit dispute letter to send to the credit bureaus that you can tweak and send with supporting documentation.
(You can see copies of your credit reports for free every 12 months through AnnualCreditReport.com or you can see them in all sorts of other ways through various free and paid credit monitoring services.)
Complaints about MRS Associates
Despite its A+ rating from the BBB, as of this writing, the MRS collection agency has had 83 customer complaints registered with the BBB, categorized as follows:
- 69 complaints about billing/collection issues
- 14 problems with product/service
Of these complaints, the BBB says:
- 27 were resolved to the satisfaction of the consumer
- 56 were either not resolved to the satisfaction of the consumer or the BBB did not hear back from the consumer about the MRS response to the complaint
If you have a complaint about MRS, you too should let the BBB know about it. Just be sure to do so as a “customer complaint,” which signals to the BBB that you are seeking their involvement to help resolve the matter. The receipt and outcome of these complaints can also affect the BBB letter grade. If you leave a “customer review,” you are simply leaving feedback and not initiating any sort of BBB response.
But don’t stop there.
You can also submit a complaint to the CFPB and the FTC. And, again, if there is anything inaccurate about the debt, you should also dispute it with MRS, as well as the credit bureaus if it has appeared on your credit reports.
Your debt collection rights
Thanks to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you have a long list of debt collection rights. Check out our summary of FDCPA violations so you know what’s okay for MRS Associates to do and what’s not.